Man arrested in pair of purse snatchings

WINDER - Winder police officers arrested a man in connection with a recent purse snatching and an attempted purse snatching.

Jonathan Chad Huff, 22, of Winder was arrested about 11 p.m. Monday as he sat in the McDonald's drive-through lane in Winder.

A 76-year-old woman was injured Monday when a man attempted to snatch her purse outside the Publix at 17 Monroe Highway in Winder. The woman told police she walked outside the store at 3:06 p.m. when she felt something pull at her purse. Before she could turn around, she said, she was pulled to the ground, according to a statement released by the Winder Police Department. The woman held on to her purse and the man fled.

The woman's injuries were treated at Barrow Regional Medical Center.

The woman described her attacker as a white man, 6 feet 1 inch to 6 feet 4 inches tall, in his late teens to early 20s. He was wearing a black hat with sunglasses, and a black shirt with the letter "F" on the front. He fled the area in a late model white Chevrolet Monte Carlo with a drive-out tag.

On Friday, a man snatched a woman's purse at 1:15 p.m. in the parking lot of Quality Foods on Broad Street, according to police reports. A man with the same physical description grabbed the purse from the back of a vehicle as the woman unloaded her groceries. He, too, fled in a white Chevrolet Monte Carlo, reports said. The woman was uninjured.

Detective Gregg Teatino, the lead investigator in both cases, spotted the vehicle at McDonald's and called for assistance. Officers took Huff into custody without incident. Huff was wearing the clothes witnesses described. Huff is being held at Winder Police Department pending warrants for two counts of robbery, theft by taking, and battery against the elderly.

More charges may be pending, and more arrests are likely, said Lt. Dennis Dorsey, spokesman for the Winder Police Department.

Athens-Clarke police and Winder police are working together to solve a similar incident that occurred at an Atlanta Highway address in Athens on Monday, Dorsey said.